From September 25 to 27 Vanderhoof students attended Project Agriculture. There, 24 students got to try out many different aspects of farming work on David Martens and Sons farm.
The stations that kids participated in were weeds, ATV lessons and safety, light horse, heavy horse, hay truck, dairy and calf barn, welding, cattle handling, tractor w/spear, and Bobcat.
Kids also get to see the stream rehabilitation for the Murray Creek Project, they’ll get a presentation about the reasoning for it and why it’s important for farmers and residents. Students learned about meat cutting as well. Co-op’s Colin Walker came in to teach the kids which part of the animal goes into what cut of meat.
“We spent some time at Nechako Valley Animal Health Services with Corey Stevens and her staff,” said Darren Carpenter, district coordinator. “And she shut down her practice for the entire morning and she’s been doing that ever since she became involved in this program. She had three stations and we had a dog that was sedated and students got involved with how they cleaned his teeth and did some teeth extractions, its really hands on.”
This program has been going on for 24 years and many supporters have been involved since the beginning. It’s a little sampling of everything, the idea is to expose the students to as many things as possible and see if anything connects with them. If so, then it’s the school’s responsibility to follow up afterwards.
The students also went to Little Valley Farms, another longtime supporter, to learn some roping, team penning, branding and horse work.
Then they came to the auction market where they held a mock auction and students took a crack at learning how to bid on things at an auction.
“So we have 24 students and we had 46 kids apply from the four communities,” said Carpenter. “So we’re able to maximize students coming for the right reasons obviously some flexibility with 46 kids applying.”
Carpenter said that an attempt was made to cost out the three days of hands-on learning.
“If you were to cost this all out for the last three days, well there’s a school district from down south, I won’t name which one, they came up and looked at it to see if they could replicate it down there. It would have cost them $80,000. So we’re pretty proud of the partnerships that we have. Just the fact they’re willing to provide their expertise and their knowledge and the equipment and personnel at no cost is incredible.”
The supporters will see the benefits later on when students are deciding their career paths and they might choose to go in this direction.